$75,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Scapholunate Ligament Tear with Persistent Limitations

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a wrist injury causing long term limitations.
In this week’s case (Jackson v. Jeffries) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2008 head on collision.  The Defendant admitted fault for the crash.  The Plaintiff, who had learning difficulties, trained to be a plumber and was working as an apprentice plumber by the time of the collision.  The crash caused a Scapholunate ligament injury to his wrist which required surgery.  He was left with persistent pain and stiffness in his wrist and, as a result of these limitations, was no longer medically suited for his physical career.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $75,000 the Court provided the following reasons:

[39] Dr. Perey, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand, wrist and elbow surgery, saw Mr. Jackson on February 4, 2010, on referral from Dr Wong.  Mr. Jackson was complaining of activity related wrist pain, notwithstanding that x-rays and an MRI did not reveal any abnormality.  Dr. Perey suspected a scapholunate ligament tear which was confirmed during wrist arthroscopic surgery performed May 10, 2010.

[40] Following surgery, Mr. Jackson was placed in a splint for 10 days followed by a cast for 8-10 weeks.  Dr. Perey wrote in his medical report of August 31, 2010, that Mr. Jackson was making “remarkable strides” although he had residual pain and stiffness.

[41] It was Dr. Perey’s prognosis that Mr. Jackson’s symptoms would continue to improve, but that he would likely have some persistent pain and stiffness with his wrist which would be aggravated by heavy use.  Dr. Perey recommended “a re-training program to a less physically demanding occupation than a plumber.”  He concluded Mr. Jackson could “resume intermittent physical activities involved in hobbies and sports.”…

[71] As Dr. Feldman described, Mr. Jackson has a partial permanent disability which will result in him not being able to continue as a plumber in the future.  He will be left with ongoing back pain and stiffness and weakness in his wrist.

[72] Mr. Jackson is not fitted to labouring-type work or other work which will place strain on his back and wrist.  The range of potential occupations has been narrowed as a result of the injuries…

[84] As the cases are similar on their facts, I award Mr. Jackson non-pecuniary damages of $75,000.

bc injury law, Jackson v. Jeffries, Mr. Justice Greyell, Scapholunate Ligament Injury

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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